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Old 04-14-2011, 09:52 PM   #1
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What not to reveal on line

Computers are a huge part of our lives now, some might even say essential. With that come social networking sites, like this one, where we share information...not just about our RV, but about our lives. I was reading an article about what not to reveal about yourself on the www & thought I'd pass along what I learned:

Birthdates & places. You can say what day you were born, but if you provide the year and where you were born too, you’ve just given identity thieves a key to stealing your financial life. A study done by Carnegie Mellon showed that a date and place of birth could be used to predict most — and sometimes all — of the numbers in your Social Security number.
Vacation plans. On places like Facebook (& here on iRV2 - I'm guilty myself), people like to tell about their upcoming plans by saying "only 2 weeks until our cruise!" or " Cancun, here we come!!". Post the photos AFTER you've returned. But don’t invite criminals in by telling them specifically when you’ll be gone.
Home address. A study recently released by the Ponemon Institute found that users of Social Media sites (like here on iRV2) were at greater risk of physical and identity theft because of the information they were sharing. Some 40% listed their home address on the sites; 65% didn’t even attempt to block out strangers with privacy settings. And 60% said they weren’t confident that their “friends” were really just people they know.
Keep quiet. You may hate your job; lie on your taxes; or be a recreational user of illicit drugs, but the www is no place to confess. Employers commonly peruse social networking sites (like LinkedIn) to determine who to hire — and, sometimes, who to fire. Need proof? In the past, an emergency dispatcher was fired in Wisconsin for revealing drug use; a waitress got canned for complaining about customers and the Pittsburgh Pirate's mascot was ousted for bashing the team on Facebook. The moral: watch what you say about your employer online.
Password clues. We've all got online accounts & answered dozens of different security questions, telling your Mom’s maiden name; the church you were married in; or the name of your favorite song. Is the same info on the information page of your Facebook or other online profile? This gives crooks an easy way to guess your passwords.
Risky hobbies. You take your classic Mustang out for street racing, bungie jump, or smoke like a chimney? Insurers are turning to the web to figure out whether their applicants and customers are putting their lives or property at risk. So far, there’s no efficient way to collect the data, so cancellations and rate hikes are rare. But the technology is fast evolving, so it won't be long until that information about you is easily gotten.

It may be impossible to keep all of our private information from being discovered, but by being aware of what we do provide & using website security features to limit access, we can greatly reduce the chances of being a victim someday.

Lori-
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:14 AM   #2
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Thanks Lori. Surprised you have time to read with all your administrator duties.
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:24 AM   #3
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Was just talking to my DH if we do go on vacation to tell the security company to call the police/fire first and call us second if we won't be home for more than a couple of days.

Good post.
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Old 04-15-2011, 03:03 PM   #4
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Great post...very important information for everyone. Thank you for sharing!
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:37 PM   #5
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It's not just on-line you should worry about. If you keep your RV on the side driveway, folks know when you're gone. If the various phone-book vendors deliver by other than US Postal Service, people see the book sitting on you front porch for days.

Some of our neighbors have even had courier packages show up when they're a week out from home on an 8-week trip.

We live in a neighborhood where maybe a third of the residents live somewhere else part of the year, so trying to set up a neighborhood watch system is difficult. I guess our window sticker might work. It says "We've taken everything of value with us. Everything in here is cheap, old junk. If you break in, please don't leave a mess."
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Old 04-15-2011, 07:51 PM   #6
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Thank you Lori! That is a kind, considerate post for everyone to heed.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:16 PM   #7
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Good information.... I would add not putting your full name (first & last name) on the web. I use my first name and my last initial. That makes it too hard for the bad guy to track what my name might be even if they know the town. If they can find your name, it does not take much more effort to know where you live.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:32 AM   #8
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We live by these rules:

We don't get mail at our home, but at a mail drop in town. All deliveries are to that mail drop. All bills go to the mail drop.

Our address is the mail drop, from driver's licenses and vehicle registration, business licenses, to passport to FCC amateur and GRMS licenses.

Our name is not on the mail box in front of the property. We lease the property, which is three acres and the home, cars and RV cannot be seen from the street.

Land line phone number is unlisted.

Facebook lists only month and day of birth, not year.

Landlord lives on the property, and is the only one who knows our comings and goings.

Most internet searches for personal information that can be used nefariously will result in dead ends.

We have credit monitoring that calls our cell phones if any suspicious activity appears on our accounts.

Since my name is as common as John Smith, it really doesn't matter if my name is used in an internet forum.
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Old 04-16-2011, 09:56 AM   #9
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Lory, and others, good advice.

I wish that this forum was a closed forum. If people want to read it they should join it. It would be nice to let friends and acquaintances know travel plans and other information. It would be nice when traveling through a city to know someone piped in and said, "Hey, pay us a visit." But with the freedom of reading all content on this forum it is best to not say anything.

Thanks for the post.

p.s., I'd like to discourage social engineering by asking that you be extremely careful in your talks to strangers regarding anything and anyone in your personal life. Social engineering can take several months of "tidbit" gathering, and when it is all put together the perpetrators of identity theft can have a very big picture. If they think it is worth it,(and you drive a big expensive motorhome) they will take the time. They don't have to spend all day with you, only a couple minutes before going to the next victim. They gather the information, store it, and use it later. They usually work in teams, but not necessarily.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:25 PM   #10
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Yep: the new generation is getting more paranoid by the year.
No; I don't advertize that I'm not going to be home for a couple of months.
But I don't spent every waking moment worring what might might happen if I tell someone I'm going on vacation.
If someone breaks in and cleans out my home when I;m gone; I believe thats why I buy insurance .
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:49 AM   #11
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Five years ago I went to a new doctor and had to fill out the usual paperwork. Six months later my bank account was cleaned out and I found out I had 9 credit cards I didn't apply for all billed to the max. I also had a warrant out for my arrest. My life was turned upside down and to a point still is. The cleaning people at the doctors office helped themselves to my information and stole my ID.

There is no reason a Dr. or any other business needs this info.Never put your SS# on ANY paperwork. There is no law stating you must have a SS#. Also, never put your birth date on any paperwork. You can just put down your age. Never let them make a copy of your license or credit card. If someone knows you SS#, name and birth date they can get you good. Believe me....
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:58 AM   #12
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We store our coach 3 miles from our house. We bring the coach to the house 3 days before our trip and load. We start the fridge on gas,bring the coach back to the storage lot and go about our routine. On the day of departure we bring the cold stuff to the lot, park the car and go on our way.
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billieg View Post
Five years ago I went to a new doctor and had to fill out the usual paperwork. Six months later my bank account was cleaned out and I found out I had 9 credit cards I didn't apply for all billed to the max. I also had a warrant out for my arrest. My life was turned upside down and to a point still is. The cleaning people at the doctors office helped themselves to my information and stole my ID.

There is no reason a Dr. or any other business needs this info.Never put your SS# on ANY paperwork. There is no law stating you must have a SS#. Also, never put your birth date on any paperwork. You can just put down your age. Never let them make a copy of your license or credit card. If someone knows you SS#, name and birth date they can get you good. Believe me....
When asked for my SS# on any application I put the numbers 123-45-6789 on it; seems to satisfy them as I;ve never been questioned.
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by melvonnar View Post
When asked for my SS# on any application I put the numbers 123-45-6789 on it; seems to satisfy them as I;ve never been questioned.
Interesting...I've often felt funny putting that info on those forms. You never know how they will deal with the hard copies after they are finished with them. Perhaps they will just toss them in the trash?!?

I'll have to try that!! Thanks for the idea!!
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